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Figurative art


* Figurative art simply means that it is based on real object sources and is therefore representational.


* A non-representative painting has no resemblance to any real object. It may just be


geometric shapes, bands of colour, etc. Abstract art


* Abstract works can be based on real objects that have been changed, simplified or distorted.


* Non-representational abstract works are made from compositional elements that are not


directly related to the visual world.


How to look at an abstract painting What to look at first


* Look at the shapes and forms. * Is space represented, or not?


* Is there an emotional effect through colours or marks?


* How has the surface been treated? Is it rough or smooth?


* Has the artist left marks that suggest expression or direction?


Look at the colour


* Does the colour convey emotion, time of day, distance or some other special feature?


* What kind of paint has been used? * Can you see brushstrokes in the work? * Do these brushstrokes convey movement?


Look again


* Where is the focal point? * Why is your eye led there?


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* Is your mind looking for objects and ideas, but is your eye attracted to areas of high contrast?


APPRECIATING ART


NOTE!


Your eye is part of your brain! Allow it to do its work and lead your mind


through the work. Evaluate the work


Once you have looked at, investigated and researched the context of the work of art, you can begin to evaluate it.


* What do you think is successful about this work of art? What is not as successful?


* Would you recommend that other people see this work? What do you think they might say


about it? * What would you do with this work if you owned it?


* What do you think is worth remembering about this work?


NOTE!


Art evaluation is not just about liking or disliking the art. The real point is to


explain why you like or dislike something, not simply whether you like it or not.


Looking at paintings in the National Gallery of Ireland


The National Gallery of Ireland has numerous works of art on display. The main emphasis is on Irish art, but it also has very fine examples of European painting in its collection.


The paintings are divided into schools of painting based on the different forms and genres in Western European painting. We will look at two examples here: one from the Italian school and one from the Dutch school.


The Italian School


The Taking of Christ by Caravaggio The National Gallery’s greatest treasure is The Taking of Christ, a wonderful work by the 16th- century Italian master, Caravaggio.

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